Friday, 13 February 2009

Mastermind Heat 17

Mastermind - First Round Heat 17/24 - Friday 13th February

Four more brand new contestants took to the chair this week, although, as John Humphrys was at pains to point out, Shrirang Raddi had actually taken part in Mastermind India. A little more on that in a moment.
Adrian Corbett kicked us off with this week's popular culture subject, Marillion. It seemed there were a lot of questions about venues where they played at one time or another, but it didn't phase Mr. Corbett, who posted a very good 13. John Sandalls followed, answering on atom spy Dr. Klaus Fuchs. A point of controversy occurred in this round. John Humphrys asked in which pub - etc. etc., and Mr. Sandalls looked confused. In his answer he said that it actually took place in two pubs, and named both. John Humprhys accepted this, but said that the second answer was right. Now - I am surprised that they didn't reshoot that question , rephrasing it perhaps to make it obvious that the second answer was the one required. Oh well, 11 was a good score, but you couldn't help thinking that this might not be enough tonight. Shrirang Raddi was answering on the Kashmir War. I know nothing about the subject so cannot possibly comment on the level of difficulty, but I know a perfect round when I see it, and this was one. Sixteen questions, sixteen correct answers. Follow that ! As it happened Sue Read made a perfectly decent fist of her round on Pushkin, but 11 points left her 5 behind, and that's a hell of a gap to have to bridge.
John Sandalls made a very spirited defence of nuclear power in his chat with John Humphrys, but made very heavy weather of his GK round. The question about the western TV show which featured the Cartwright family caused him all kinds of problems - he knew that they lived on the Ponderosa, but just couldn't dredge up the name of the show. He finished on 18. Sue Read pitched in with the best GK round of the night. As I've said before, double figures on GK is pretty respectable, and she scored 11, to match her specialist score. Adrian Corbett had a 2 point advantage over Sue Read at the halfway stage , but he couldn't make it count, and scored 8 to give him 21. So, finally Shrirang Raddi. John Humphrys probed him about his experiences on Mastermind India. Apparently contenders take, or took, it much more seriously than this show, because they were still revising in the last few minutes leading up to the show. Well, far be it from me to cast nasturtiums, but if you haven't completely learned your stuff by then, I don't see that any revision you do on the actual day is going to make the slightest bit of difference.Mr. Raddi showed a very likeable sense of humour when John Huprhys asked him how he did on Mastermind India, and he replied "Terribly" - saying that the subject of poisonous snakes proved very poisonous to him. Mr. Raddi only needed 7, but after a decent start he began to struggle, and seemed to be falling into a pass spiral. However he didn't panic, and therefore managed to answer the ones he knew, and scored 8 to give him just a tiny bit of daylight. Is he a potential finalist ? Well, anyone who reaches the semis is a potential finalist, but he'll need a better performance on GK to give him a halfway decent chance.

The Details

Adrian Corbett Marillion 13 -18 - 321 - 4
John Sandalls Life and Career of Klaus Fuchs 11 - 17 - 318 - 4
Shrirang Raddi Kashmir War 16 - 08 - 424 - 4
Sue ReadLife and Poetry of Alexander Pushkin 11 - 211 - 322 - 5


Shrirang said...

Hi David this is Shrirang here; it felt good to have my 15 minutes of fame on Mastermind yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised to read this review on your blog.

You're absolutely right, Dr. Sandalls was unlucky with the question. Needless to say, if there is an problem with the question or answer, you can lose your rhythm and that's what happened to him. It was unfortunate.

I found the GK round to be quite tough. One problem is that if you were not brought up/ schooled in the UK, there are some questions that you would just have no clue about, and wouldn't even be able to make a guess. Things like British geography, 70s TV shows, 60s hit songs and so on.

But the show is great fun overall and the BBC organisers are friendly and professional. Participating in UK Mastermind was a very enjoyable experience for me.

Incidentally, if you felt my performance on this GK round was bad, I don't know what you will say when you see the semifinal where I committed some amazing howlers! If you do write about that round, please be kind!

Londinius said...

Hi Shrirang, and thanks for taking the time and trouble to leave a comment.

I do agree that you are certainly at a disadvantage if you weren't brought up in the UK.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that your performance was bad - and remember - you qualified for the semi final on your first ever attempt - whereas I needed 2 bites of the cherry.

After your very self effacing comments to John Humphrys on the show, I am quite sure that you did nowhere near as badly on the semi final as you suggest.

I am glad that you enjoyed your time on the show, and I echo whole heartedly your comments about Jon and the whole team who make the show.

Once again, thanks for taking the time and trouble to comment.